BluRay/DVD Reviews

DAY WATCH

By • Aug 21st, 2008 •

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I loved it. But I didn’t understand it.

Since I have not seen director Timur Bekmambetov’s 2004 NIGHT WATCH, I was at a clear disadvantage as to the hagiographic truce between vampires and humans. It has something to do with the mythological Chalk of Fate. Apparently, a treaty has been signed and, coming up to speed, we are in modern-day Moscow where there is a special police task force, called The Night Watch, that patrols the city specifically running surveillance on vampires and witches. The Vampire Mafia also has a squad, called The Day Watch, making sure the treaty is kept and their equal rights alongside humans are maintained.

I don’t know what happened, but everyone in Russia, at least, has adjusted. Life goes on. A bureaucratic hierarchy has developed to make sure everybody plays nice.

There’s a thousand year old prophecy that says an Other (not The Antichrist or The Hidden Iman) will be born and all hell will break lose.

A Night Watchman, Anton (Konstantin Khabensky), and his trainee Svetlana (Maria Poroshina), find themselves hunting a young thug caught pulling the life force from an old lady. Svetlana wants to prove her worth, so she runs after the boy straight into another dimension. When Anton catches a glimpse of the thug, it’s none other than his son, Yegor (Dima Martynov). Vampires are made, and Yegor has been seduced by the vampire lifestyle and their sexy fashion sense. Anton has contacts in both worlds and steals police evidence linking Yegor to the attack. When a Day Watch agent is murdered and Anton is implicated, he has to switch bodies with a colleague, Olga (Galina Tyunina).

Hiding out at Svetlana’s apartment as Olga, Anton seduces her while in Olga’s body.

There is a car scene that is absolutely dazzling and completely original. I don’t know how it was done but I believed that the red car drove up a high-rise building, raced across its exterior and then drove into the offices of the head of the vampires. What a way to avoid the horse-holders!

This film has anointed the director, Timur Bekmambetov, an A-list player. And his crowning was the prize of directing Angelina Jolie’s latest action-thriller, WANTED.

Who cares about following a linear story when the plot involves vampires, witches, a parallel universe, and the switching of bodies? Bekmambetov has a visual sense that is uniquely his own. I’ve been to Moscow. It’s gray, cold, and people look unhappy. Bekmambetov’s sees the city as an idealized, urban masterpiece. He has created a stunning landscape with a sly sting of irony.

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